Sport fishermen come to the islands for its abundance of blue marlin, wahoo, sailfish, mahi mahi, and tuna.
By Lisa Mullins Bishop, Caribbean Edge Staff Writer
The Caribbean has some of the best fishing grounds in the world. Saltwater flyfishing for bonefish is popular as is deep-sea fishing for bluefish, swordfish, shark, marlin, and other billfish. These waters have also seen some big catches: many of the International Game Fishing Association's world records were registered here. Anglers will also find barracuda, bonefish, kingfish, tarpon, amberjack, grouper, and snapper closer to shore. Many islands hold local fishing tournaments that add to the excitement.
Licensed operators on most islands offer full-day and half-day charters with a knowledgeable captain and capable crew, who know the best fishing grounds in the region. Keep in mind that requirements vary from island to island. Some may require permits; others may have a catch and release policy. Many islands have good fishing year-round, while others may have their best fishing from January to April or June. Be sure to inquire about local conditions and policies before booking your charter.
Here are some guidelines to some of the regions' fishing grounds.
The waters around these islands are a favorite of saltwater flyfishermen in search of bonefish.
Year-round fishing is to be had on this island, but the most ideal conditions exist from January to April. Deep-sea fisherman will find plenty of billfish, while the calmer coastal waters will yield wahoo, barracuda, and other small fish.
The Cayman Islands attract deep-sea fisherman in search of tuna, wahoo, and marlin. Others choose to bottom-fish along the reefs for grouper and snapper. Bloody Bay off Little Cayman is well known for its good bonefishing.
This island attracts fishermen after sailfish and bonito as well as marlin and wahoo. The best fishing is between January and June.
Some 30 world records have been set here earning Puerto Rico a reputation as the fishing capital of the Caribbean.
Both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands have a reputation as good deep-fishing grounds. Fisherman from around the world come here to compete in the local tournaments for the largest bluefish, wahoo, swordfish, and shark. The U.S. Virgin Islands have seen world records registered including eight for blue marlin. Bonefishing is also popular. The best fishing off St. Croix is from September to June when fishermen seek out kingfish, wahoo, swordfish, marlin, and yellowfin tuna.
Fishing by Island: